Africa: Uganda Sanctions Homosexuality

Source: FSSPX News

President Museveni signs the anti-gay legislation into law in February 2014.

On February 24, 2014, Uganda passed a law forbidding any form of promotion for homosexuality, condemning “any help brought to homosexuals, bisexuals or transsexuals” and encouraging the “denunciation of anyone who is openly homosexual.” Sentences can be as heavy as life in prison, for repeated offenses.

Adopted in mid-December by the Parliament before being ratified by President Yoweri Museveni, this law raised a cry of protest from the international community. Shortly after its promulgation, Barack Obama declared on February 17, in a statement quoted by AFP the same day, that it risked “complicating relations between Washington and Kampala”.

The President of the United States insinuated that American help, that amounted to about $265,000,000 in 2013, could decrease dramatically. To this, the Ugandese president responded on February 24:

"Foreigners cannot give us orders. It is our country. (…) Imposing another group’s social values on our society is social imperialism. Now, you tell us that we should live like you. Not at all!”

Following the example of the organizations for “the defense of human rights”, the directors of the Jesuit American magazine America denounced this new law on February 25, in an open letter. “As Christians, we are concerned by attacks against human dignity,” they wrote.

Relayed by the information website The Huffington Post, the group of Jesuits claimed that they based their statement on the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, which enjoins Catholics to treat gays and lesbians with 'respect, sensitivity and compassion'.” (Ed. Note: See CCC, #2358, but these Jesuits avoid quoting #2357 that reads: “In the light of Holy Scripture, that presents them as a serious depravity, Tradition has always declared that ‘acts of homosexuality are intrinsically disordered’. They are contrary to the natural law. (…) They can never in any case be approved.”)

According to these religious, “The church’s vigorous support for traditional marriage, moreover, must be accompanied by advocacy for the human rights of gays and lesbians in equal measure.“ (sic)

On March 3, Ghanese Cardinal Peter Turkson declared that “homosexuals are not criminals.” The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace maintained in a conference on “The Church and Human Rights”, in Bratislava, Slovakia, that “it is unimaginable for someone to be condemned to prison for life for his homosexuality.”

In a statement quoted by the British newspaper Catholic Herald, on March 4, he nonetheless enjoined the international community to continue its help to Uganda. While reaffirming their opposition to homosexuality, the Catholic bishops of Uganda voiced some reservations on the new law. According to a dispatch from the American Catholic press agency Catholic News Service (CNS) on March 2, they declared themselves “opposed to severe sanctions,” insisting that homosexuals should be treated with “compassion” and that they “can change”.